Today, the Texas Public Policy Foundation published the paper Second Chance Parenting: Restoring Parental Rights.

“At any given moment, thousands of children in the United States and Texas are waiting to be adopted out of the foster care system,” says Nikki Pressley, policy analyst with the Texas Public Policy Foundation. “Many will age out of care before they can obtain an adoptive family, often leading to a life of instability and increased hardship. Some children have unique family circumstances which would allow for reinstating previously terminated parental rights. Although Texas has yet to enact a statute allowing for this option, there is a population of foster youth who would likely benefit from such a process. When parents have re-established their fitness, this option would provide a healthier and more restorative alternative to emancipation.”

Key Points:

  • While almost half of the states have implemented a reinstatement of rights statute, this option has yet to be extended to Texas families.
  • In 2018, over 5,000 children in Texas were separated from their parents whose parental rights were terminated.
  • With more than 1,200 youth aging out of the Texas foster care system each year, a process for reinstating the rights of parents who have rehabilitated may be in the best interest of many of these youth.
  • Texas should move toward implementing a reinstatement of parental rights statute to ensure children and families have every option available to promote safety and stability.

To read the paper in full, please visit: